For the first time since the global coronavirus pandemic began, North America’s metal manufacturers are optimistic about economic activity and incoming orders. After bottoming out in April, a Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) survey reflecting the views of 115 manufacturing members as of June 1 shows they expect business to improve over the next three months:
- 53% predict an improvement, increasing from 22% in May
- 27% expect no change, up from 24% in May
- 20% expect a decline, a significant decrease from 54% in May.
- 57% expect an increase, compared to 14% who expected an increase in May
- 24% expect no change, compared to 16% in May
- 19% expect a decrease, a sharp decline from 70% in May.
Average Daily Shipping Levels
- 9% reported an increase, compared to 3% in May
- 10% reported no change, compared to 11% in May
- 81% reported lower levels than three months ago, down from 86% in May.
As states lift stay-at-home orders, more companies are bringing more employees back in to work. Forty-three percent of survey respondents reported having a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff, a decrease from 50% in May. This is the highest percentage recorded since January 2010.
“Members are working to overcome the significant challenges created by COVID-19, continuing or restarting operations while protecting the safety of their employees,” says PMA President David Klotz. “Our Washington team also successfully advocated for modifications to the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. The legislation passed by Congress included provisions we supported, such as extending the term for loan forgiveness. This will give manufacturers more time to rehire workers.”
Full report results are available at https://www.pma.org/public/business_reports/pdf/BCREP.pdf.
PMA represents North America’s $137-billion market in stamping, fabricating, spinning, slide forming, roll forming, and other value-added processes. Nearly 800 member companies include equipment, materials, and services suppliers.
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